Homeschool Day in the Life: Brandi, veteran homeschooling mom passionate about creating a unique family culture

Day in the life Brandi

A homeschool day in the life looks different almost every day, right? Over on our Instagram page, we love to give you a peek into lots of homeschool days regardless of how they change day to day.

Today, we’re going to give you a peek into the homeschool day in the life of Brandi, veteran homeschooling mom to four children, who loves inspiring mamas to create their own unique family culture.

We can all learn and be inspired by one another, regardless of our homeschool approach. It’s not about looking good for social media, it’s about the connection going on inside our homeschool walls and sharing with others what works for us.

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We might all homeschool a little differently, but we can always look for ideas from each other that inspire, encourage and equip us in our own homeschool days. So each week we create blog posts for you to access later of each of those “days in the life”. We hope you keep coming back for more inspiration. Keep going, mama! These days at home are so worth it!

Meet Brandi

Meet Brandi

Brandi McIntosh, @brandi.mcintosh, lives in the hills of central Texas with her husband, Dan, and their four children. She has home educated for 13 years, and her kids range from six years old to 19 (a junior in college).

The slow, intentional life suits Brandi just fine. A life in which there is time to linger long over each meal, read aloud another chapter, connect to each heart under her roof, take long walks, and encourage mamas to live wholeheartedly.

Brandi longs to inspire mamas to boldly create their unique family culture and to feel empowered to hold their children’s and teen’s hearts.

Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life

Breakfast + God Time

God Time

How things have changed over 13 years of home educating!

My Gavin (19) leaves before sunrise for his classes at the university nearby. Ellie (15) is an energetic morning person. As of this school year she has started preparing breakfast for us each morning while Quinn (12) unloads the dishwasher. See what you get to look forward to sweet mamas! 😁 During this time I’m getting dressed, making my coffee, and working on gently waking my 6 year old, who like her mama, is also very groggy in the morning.

I’ve learned, that unlike many, I can’t spend time in quiet before my kids wake. I only fall back asleep. So, only AFTER we’ve had breakfast together do we head to our cozy corners for our own peaceful ‘God Time.’

Over breakfast, (7:30 is our aim, but a gentle aim) I lead in a discussion over scripture using “Our 24 Family Ways.” As we sit around the table and linger over breakfast, what we have is not lost on me. I hear others flying by our house in their rush and I’m deeply thankful we get to be together, and that these years don’t consist of us living in a mad hurry. It’s our connections with each other that these years are made of.

One more note on God Time: Willow (6) either listens to the Jesus Storybook, Adventures in Odyssey, or floats from room to room as we each read her one short children’s Bible story.

Morning Chores

Morning Chores

Everyone knows when God Time is over, it’s time for morning chores once I blast the worship music.

These chores are the same everyday. We all make our beds, brush teeth, and put pajamas away. Ellie and I wipe down the kitchen. Quinn sweeps under the table and feeds the dog. I start a load of laundry and encourage my little one to stay on task with her few chores before she starts playing. We all tidy up around the house.

Chores have granted us a team mindset as we have learned to work together over the years. I’ve also seen my kids grow in confidence as they learn they are capable of hard things. Our house is always far from perfection (I wouldn’t be very comfortable in that state anyway). Chores have enabled our home to be a more pleasant place for us all to dwell.

Morning Lessons

Morning Lessons

First off, I want to share that for the first five years that I homeschooled, we did not have a schoolroom. Our house was a small two bedroom, one bathroom home. I know what it’s like to have my kitchen island stuffed with books and clutter everywhere with no place to store it.

Eventually my husband was able to build on to our little home, doubling the size of it and creating my dream schoolroom. However, I wouldn’t trade those early homeschool years for anything.

One more disclaimer: 😆 Willow’s hair is often fancy these days only because Ellie loves to give her ‘Queen hair!’ It’s not something I’ve ever spent much time on.

After chores, it’s time for morning lessons. For Ellie and Quinn, that consists of Teaching Textbooks math, The Good & The Beautiful language arts (for this advanced curriculum we go by where they’re at rather than getting caught up in matching an exact age/grade level). Elle also does Driver’s Ed online and Quinn does typing two days a week.

Lessons Brandi

Willow (6) and I snuggle up as I read her a beautiful picture book, then she does her morning time menu. Then I often pull out a sand tray for her to practice letters in, or a puzzle, or math manipulative such as the one pictured. After a snack break, she and I work through her Good and the Beautiful math and language arts. This is far more academic than my middle kids were at this age, but this is where she’s at and she’s thriving with this. She longs to ‘do school’ alongside her siblings.

I like to keep Sarah Clarkson’s books full of book lists handy at this time. When I have a moment, I’m planning the future books we’ll read together and for each child to read or listen to on their own.

Then the younger two especially have some free time before lunch to play. They often head outside if the weather is nice. I move laundry over and then often head outside as well for some fresh air before lunch.

Lunch Time

Lunch Time

“Soon she would be about them again… loving them, teaching them, comforting them. They would be coming to her with their little joys and sorrows, their budding hopes, their new fears, their little problems that seemed so big to them and their little heartbreaks that seemed so bitter. She would hold all the threads of the Ingleside life in her hands again to weave into a tapestry of beauty.”

This was from the chapter I read aloud today from Anne of Ingleside. Isn’t this a beautiful description of the homeschool life?

Though we read aloud in the evening as well, this is our primary read aloud spot in our day. This is a life giving time for us all as we journey together to other times and places and live a thousand lives.

We’ll soon move on to books around the time of World War I for our lunchtime read, but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time in Avonlea. The strong characters we’ve met and the simpler, truer time are inspiring to us.

Following lunch, while I clean the kitchen, the kids tackle their five minute afternoon chore. It’s different for each weekday. For example, Elle wipes the mirrors on Wednesday while Quinn dusts the entryway, and Willow wipes the cabinets. A simple, painless way to knock out cleaning throughout the week.

Reading Hour

Reading Hour Brandi

This next hour refreshes, enriches, and expands our minds.

As a deeply introverted person I can really struggle to get acquainted with my own thoughts apart from this time! When the kids were younger an entire hour of quiet was not possible. In those days I would seize 15 minutes here and there, or when Dan could give me a breather.

I don’t allow myself to meal plan or tackle chores at this time, but alternate between fiction and a spiritual or motherhood read. Currently Elle and I both are reading Jane Eyre and Captivating (John and Stasi Eldredge). I’m reading the same so the two of us can discuss these better on our evening walks.

Quinn is in the 6th book of the Redwall series, and is enjoying it so much that he reads it in his free time, as his older brother did.

Willow either listens to audiobooks or plays quietly. Or both! I leave it up to her. She just finished listening to The Happy Little Family series. Geraldine Woolkins is up next.

What are you reading at the moment? I just finished The Pilgrim’s Inn and I’m still reeling from the richness in that novel.



After reading hour we gather in the living room and tackle laundry. Then we head either to the schoolroom or outside for our science or nature study/journaling. I’ve found it more beneficial for us to simply read together the books I’ve collected over the years. We then journal what we want to remember rather than buying curriculum on these subjects. (Same with history).

Then it’s FREE time! Quinn practices the guitar at some point, and Ellie bakes most days. All three of them regularly make movies together, and this afternoon are headed outside to work on a western movie! 😆
Screens are mostly saved for creative endeavors, Saturday movie nights, and a few YouTube shows that are worth the time: Smarter Everyday, Mark Rober, and Dude Perfect.

We are fierce protectors of our children’s time and don’t sign up for anything without thinking through what we are truly saying yes and no to. We primarily pray over this. It has led to a life rich in its simplicity and creativity.

Willow does take ballet one afternoon a week, and Quinn does guitar lessons with the incredible @joshua.c.hunt via FaceTime.

Mostly, we are home. 🏡✨
And that’s something we’ve never regretted.

{For a good laugh, check out some clips of the kids’ movies on my Kids’ Films highlight on my profile}



Once Dan arrived home he and Quinn created a dirt ramp while Elle and I went on a walk. Connection with my younger kids during the day is fairly easy, but Elle and I have found that we can’t talk without an audience unless we head out on a walk. I have come to realize over the last year that it’s time I cherish in hearing her heart. I like to meet Gavin at his school and take him out to lunch for the same reason. Dan and I also will stay up late with him when he has time to talk. Maintaining a connection to their hearts and Dan’s is vital. However I can far too easily overlook that without these habits in place.

Another thing we’ve done to make our priorities habit, is to set up an evening rhythm. After dinner we do the following together:

Mondays: time with Elle after younger kids are in bed, reading Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Eliot, and Dan takes this time with Gavin

Wednesday’s: Dave Ramsey finance course with everyone after Willow’s been put to bed- fabulous for family discussions

Thursday’s: art night with Dad using The Good & The Beautiful curriculum

Fridays: family game night

Saturday’s: movie night (we take turns choosing)!

Thanks so much for following along in our day! I hope it’s refreshed you in some way, and given you some practical tools you can someday apply. I’d love for you to join us on our journey over at @brandi.mcintosh!

Thank you so much to Brandi for sharing your family’s day with us!

Day in the life Brandi

If you want to see more Day in the Life photos and videos, be sure to check out our Instagram profile.  There are highlights of each takeover at the top.


  1. Yes , would definitely echo the concerns above. The guitar teacher has a history of grooming that has been addressed by others for years and yet this behavior continues. Also-Brandi has evidently been exploiting the situation to “spread wisdom” about “courting” to benefit her public image

  2. I remember reading this article when it first came out. As an avid follower, after learning what I have now, I am disgusted. Brandi has no right to call herself a mom. She has allowed and encouraged Quinn to be groomed and abused by a GROWN MAN who was in a position of power over her. There is not one Godly thing about this situation going on. How can you throw your children to the wolves, and be happy about it?? Someone needs to call Child Services and the police IMMEDIATELY!!

  3. Most unfortunate to learn that Quinn’s guitar teacher groomed their eldest daughter. A 29-year-old man, “courting” a teenage girl. Sickening. Parents need to watch out for predators like that, they don’t lurk in dark alleys, they put on every appearance of knowing God to manipulate their targets. So sad, I hope Ellie gets out of that.

  4. “I’ve learned, that unlike many, I can’t spend time in quiet before my kids wake. I only fall back asleep. So, only AFTER we’ve had breakfast together do we head to our cozy corners for our own peaceful ‘God Time.’”

    Thanks for this! I’ve been beating myself up for not waking up at dawn!

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